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Issue IV: Heart of Thine Cards

assorted tarot cards on table, a tattooed hand with spread fingers placed down on 3 of the cards,
aPhoto by Alina Vilchenko on

What is the tarot?

The tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from at least the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play card games such as Tarocchini. In the late 18th century, French occultists began to make elaborate, but unsubstantiated, claims about their history and meaning, leading to the emergence of custom decks for use in divination via tarot card reading and cartomancy. Thus there are two distinct types of tarot packs: those used for playing games and those used for divination. However, some older patterns originally intended for playing card games, have also been used for cartomancy.

Tarot reading on its own is an ancient art that has spread across many cultures around the globe. The first Tarot cards were painted on parchment or thin sheets of ivory, silver, or even gold. The design for each card had to be drawn anew and colored by hand. Some cultures incorporated mythological Gods. Others borrowed symbols from astrology. Although tarot cards have evolved since then, with a wide range of varied and beautiful decks available for use today, the art of tarot is some 500 years old. There are 78 Tarot cards in a complete deck. The first 22 are called the Major Arcana Tarot cards. The remaining 56 Minor Arcana cards are divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit contains 14 cards, including 10 numbered cards plus a Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

How does this work in Issue IV?

We’re interested in the divination aspect of the Tarot. It is said that a skilled reader can use the Tarot to help those who need it find the path they must take. So, show us what the cards mean. We are accepting submissions from January 29, 2023, until we complete the Major Arcana deck!

Issue IV will be printed out onto tarot cards in lieu of a physical magazine release! We will also be putting the works for this issue onto our blog as a way to ensure everyone’s works can be read or seen in full! As such, this issue will not have a typical physical and digital release.

This issue is going to be a bit different in scope than our other issues because of what we have planned. For this issue, we’re going to mainly accept works that describe the 22 Major Arcana cards, although works describing cards from the Minor Arcana are also welcome! However, once we have enough work to fill out the Major Arcana, we will close submissions. For each card in the Major Arcana Tarot, we will pair one short written piece with one visual piece. Thus, we will only be accepting 22 written works and 22 visual pieces (excluding any of the submissions for cards in the Minor Arcana). This means that this issue will heavily rely on you, as artists, photographers, and writers, to fully embody the spirit of the card in your submission.

The cards within the Major Arcana include:

Note: The ones crossed out are ones we will no longer be accepting works for as we’ve started sending out acceptances! Any submissions sent for these cards will be immediately read for other cards instead. The ones marked with (*) are the ones we are looking for visual submissions only!

If you’d like to learn more about the Tarot, I would highly recommend using this site ( as a starting point. They have a ton of information on what the cards mean and how tarot works.

Submission Guidelines

  • Anyone can submit their work to this issue as long as the theme is met.
  • This issue’s submission period will begin on January 29, 2023, and will continue until we have completed all 22 cards within the Major Arcana deck!
  • We are considering poetry, flash writing, & any form of visual work for this issue.
    • Something important to consider is how your piece will look on playing cards. One part of this issue’s physical release will be in the form of playing cards, so consider how your piece will look on a standard card, which is usually 62mm wide by 88mm lengthwise (2.45 inches by 3.5 inches). For example, for written submissions, it might be in your best interest to consider a quote or two you’d like to be on the cards or consider the length and spacing of the words on the card while for visual submissions, it might be hard to see fine detail in a playing card and images will need to be printable onto the cards. We will work with you and try our best to explain, should you have any questions about the specifics of the card-making process, once we’ve finished reviewing what pieces will be included in the issue!
    • Poetry-specific Guidelines:
      • 1-3 pieces are allowed to be submitted per author
      • Submit each piece in its own PDF file (.pdf) or Word document (.doc or .docx)
      • Please use a readable font (Arial, Times, etc). Doesn’t matter what font it is, but we should be able to read it 🙂
      • It’s not recommended to submit poetry longer than a page for this issue as these works will go onto playing cards, however, we will be happy to consider it if you really think it should be a part of the issue! This doesn’t account for funky spacing or font size changes and is more about the line count. A standard US Letter page has 44 lines, assuming the font is 11 pt Arial. We can always work with you to adjust any funky spacing or font size changes that may be in your piece!
    • Flash-specific Guidelines:
      • 1-2 pieces are allowed to be submitted per author
      • Submit each piece in its own PDF file (.pdf) or Word document (.doc or .docx)
      • Please use a readable font (Arial, Times, etc) and 1.15x spacing (preferred but not necessary). Please note that 1.15x is the default on most writing software (e.g. Word, Google Docs, etc) so chances are, if you typed it in those and didn’t alter the settings, you’re fine!
      • Word counts are generally loose for this issue. We won’t look at anything over 1000 words as they won’t fit onto playing cards at all. However, given that we do want your entire piece to be on the card if we can help it, the shorter the piece is, the better.
      • Flash-writing as a genre only refers to the length of the piece. We are open to considering any type of flash writing you can throw at us: fiction, nonfiction, memoir, reviews, etc.
    • Visual-specific Guidelines:
      • 1-5 pieces are allowed to be submitted per creator
      • Submit each piece as a JPEG (.jpg) or PNG (.png) file
      • Ensure to include a description of the piece(s) that you’d like us to use on our site for accessibility!
      • Feel free to add any commentary you’d like to about the piece! Creator commentary comes in many forms and it could be a great addition to a piece!
  • Email your submission(s) to with the subject line specified on our FAQ page! Ensure that you include the following in your email:
    • Please specify what card(s) your piece(s) should be considered for within the body of the email. It doesn’t have to be more than a list containing the title of the piece and the card we should consider it under (Example: [PieceName] – “The Fool”). This helps us streamline the review process significantly!
    • Include the title and author’s name in the file(s) (if written) or in the body of the email (if visual).
    • If you are submitting a piece that has been published previously, it is your responsibility to inform us and to ensure that you have full publishing rights before sending us your work. You take full responsibility for providing us with works that are legally yours. We will not accept pieces that are published in magazines or otherwise that do not allow republication, and it is your responsibility to make sure that this is not the case for your previously published works. If we find that your previously published work is barred from republication, we will not accept it. If you realize that you have submitted a prior work that you no longer have the rights to, inform us before publishing so we can retract it.
    • Include a third-person bio in the body of your email. This will be used in the contributor’s section once we start work on the issue and you are always free to edit it at any time! Just email us the most updated version of your bio before we start work on the issue (if you are accepted, the deadline to change it will be given in the email).
    • If your piece requires a content warning, please mention it either in the piece itself or in the email! Please visit our FAQ page for what content warnings we request! Some of our readers are minors and, as such, we are very strict on our content warning policy! We will not tolerate any homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racism, ableism, or any discrimination of any kind on our platform. You may talk about such things in your piece, but if we find your piece is supportive of any discrimination or discriminatory practices, you will immediately be rejected.
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